Board of Directors Announcement:
In the Board of Directors meeting held December 13, 2022 the Board unanimously voted in favor of electing Eddie Arnold into the role of Chairperson of the Board with Mark Conner as Vice Chairperson.
Eddie Arnold accepted the nomination and began service in the role as Chairperson immediately following the vote.
Eddie Arnold was born in Weisbaden Germany where his parents were stationed for a time while his father served in the US Air Force. As a result of growing up in a military family Eddie also lived all over the United States including Arizona, Washington, Georgia, Utah, Idaho and Texas. He currently lives in San Antonio Texas with his wife of 26 years Sarah and their five children.
Eddie has practiced as a Chiropractor for the last 20 years in numerous states and currently works for Airrosti in San Antonio, where he treats sports injuries, common back and neck injuries and where he mentors other practitioners.
Mr. Arnold was introduced to SHP in 2015 after seeing a close friend’s post on Facebook about building beds and helping kids. In November 2018 he felt that kids in San Antonio also needed this help and he reached out to see about forming a Tx-San Antonio chapter. Since then he and his amazing committee have helped over 3,500 kids receive beds.
Eddie has worked to help people all his life, so jumping into SHP was a natural fit. “Giving a kid a bed has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It’s absolutely amazing to see the reaction of the kids when they see their beds, but it’s equally life changing to see the relief and appreciation of the parents’ faces as well.”
After years of service in his chapter, mentoring other chapter presidents as well as advising SHP leadership, Mr. Arnold was elected to the Board of Directors in September of 2020.
Mark Conner was born in Lansing, Michigan, and grew up in Rochester, New York, where he learned to play Lacrosse and most winter sports. He spent his middle school days and through college in Portland, Oregon, where he gained his love for cars, motorcycles, and fly fishing.
Mr. Conner spent over 20 years working in senior roles for North America’s largest automotive group, Lithia Motors, and is now living and working internationally as the Chief Marketing Officer for FFUN Motor Group in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Mark and his wife, Julie, each have two kids and spend their time in the mountains on their snowmobiles, snow bikes, dirt bikes, and side x sides. When the weather is a bit warmer, you will find him and his family on their patio boat at the lake.
Mr. Conner joined the Board of Directors for SHP in August of 2020 where he also serves on the Finance Committee.
Mark, having been growth focused his entire career noted, “The growth of SHP over the years has been nothing short of impressive! This growth is all due to the leadership of each of our Chapter Presidents and their teams focused on the mission, along with our Executive team’s commitment of service to all of the chapters and their volunteers. This Board’s goals are going to be focused on Chapters, and fueling the Executive team’s ability to support them more.”
Jordan Allen, the outgoing Chairperson, led the proceedings and the vote. Mr. Allen has served as the organization’s Board Chairperson since the inception of the Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) Board.
In a written statement to the Board and Senior Management teams expressing his gratitude for being part of the organization’s Mission, Mr. Allen also added, “The reason for this transition has everything to do with our SHP Boards succession planning. Term limits have now been adopted and voted into policy. As the only Board Chair since the inception of the first SHP Board, it is time for me to transition and find other ways to help support this incredible mission.”
Executive Director, Luke Mickelson Commented on the change, “It’s not every day that you get to do what you love to do with your best friend. Jordan was the first person to raise his hand to help at the sacrifice of his own wants. His passion for helping children is inspiring and an example to me and thousands of others. His leadership and guidance is what has allowed SHP to grow to the heights it is today. Although he may be stepping away for a season, the mark he has left on SHP will always be remembered.”
In preparation for this specific, if not organizationally historic, transition over the preceding year, Jordan and the Board have finalized board processes and procedures, outlined term limits, and welcomed additional Board members with more diverse experience and geographic representation.
Following Tuesday night’s vote, the current Board of Directors consists of eight voting members.
Eddie Arnold – Chairperson
Mark Conner – Vice Chairperson
Corey Smith – Secretary
Eldon Harston – Treasurer
Terry Hosman – Board Member
Jerry Robinson – Board Member
Joe Genevese – Board Member
Gary Akin – Board Member
Jordan joins his wife Heather Allen, who resigned her official Board duties in September of 2020, as a non-voting Board Emeritus member.
Eddie Arnold, as new Chairperson concluded, “We are excited about what has been accomplished so far and for the future growth of SHP. As we look forward to new challenges we’ll be adding additional Board members with expanded backgrounds and expertise. Our growth has always been about inviting others to join us in solving child bedlessness in our communities. Together, as Board members, Chapter Presidents, Volunteers, Staff as well as generous private donors and corporate sponsors, we’re going to see that ‘No Child Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town.”
Jordan Allen’s retirement from the Board Chair position marks a milestone in the growth of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Indeed it stands out in a long and continuous chain of events over a decade that has seen the organization grow from one bed delivered in a remote farming town in Idaho, to thousands of volunteers delivering nearly a hundred thousand beds across North America.
Though this has been a singular experience for Mr. Allen, in spirit, it shares a common thread and bond with so many more. Chapter presidents and volunteers by the thousands who have learned about the Mission of SHP, and felt similarly compelled to share their time, talents, and passion to see that, like Jordan, no kid sleeps on the floor in their town.
In the Christmas season of 2012, childhood friend Luke Mickelson, who went on to found SHP, invited the Allen’s to join his family in building a bed to deliver to a local child in need. Little did either of them comprehend the momentum this seemingly small act of service would initiate.
The Allen’s experience that day building a bed with the Mickelson’s was profound, and together they convened for another build soon after. From then on, the Mickelson’s and the Allen’s drove back and forth some 280+ miles round trip between Twin Falls and Boise Idaho supporting each other and their respective bed builds.
By the end of 2013, it was clear to Luke and Jordan that it was time to formally organize a non-profit charitable organization and Luke filed for and received 501(c)(3) status, making Sleep in Heavenly Peace Inc official. Jordan and Heather continued working as Chapter Presidents in Boise, and soon after as board members of the fledgling organization.
“One of the most meaningful memories,” Allen recalled, “was a Christmas Eve delivery with my wife, kids and inlaws. The sweet woman who answered the door had just escaped an abusive situation and the bruises on her face told a horrific story. This brave mother and her four children were clearly living in fear while they shared a blow up mattress. As we hauled in two bunk beds worth of supplies and materials, the children quickly began to realize what was happening. Their apprehension turned into pure joy while silent tears dripped down their mothers wet cheeks. Walking out the front door I looked over to a small table in the corner and saw what could only be described as the branch of a pine tree decorated with homemade ornaments. A family who had nothing 30 minutes before now had something priceless…hope. This was the moment I realized that SHP was doing so much more than delivering beds. We were delivering hope.”
As they served and invited others to participate, thousands of other volunteers discovered this too. The mission that ‘No Kid Sleep on the Floor in Our Town’ was becoming many other people’s mission fast! With new growth came new challenges and new needs to keep the Chapters so vital to the Mission able to function. Jordan helped countess Chapter presidents get started, counseled, advised, encouraged and supported Luke and others as they learned and grew.
“We made a lot of mistakes early on,” Allen remembered, “but for Luke and I it wasn’t about the mistakes it was always about moving forward. We didn’t know what we were doing, we just knew it needed to be done, so we kept at it.”
At the end of 2018, the rapid growth of SHP led the organizers and leadership to split the roles of Management and the Board in order to accomplish all that had to be done. Luke took full responsibility for the Management team and carried on the work of growing and sustaining SHP’s day to day efforts. Jordan led the Board into duties of overall governance and looking to future needs.
In this capacity Jordan and Luke’s relationship stands out as Board Chairperson and Executive Director respectively. By maintaining what they considered a close partnership with each other they set a tone for the organization which stands out among nonprofits in general.
“My initial involvement with SHP was about the opportunity to work with one of my closest friends, Luke Mickelson,” Jordan remembers, “…all while playing with power tools and listening to 80’s rock in his garage! In such an unique and special way, the growth of the organization has mirrored the growth of our friendship. I could not have done it without him. And I’m glad I didn’t have to.”
Jordan recognized early on while getting exposure to other groups that the relationship between a Board and their Executive Director was crucial in maintaining viability and mission focus. He could see that in organizations where a close, trusting relationship didn’t exist, there was turmoil and eventually mission failure. He set a standard and expectation that while disagreements might be inevitable between the two at times, they would remain loyal friends and partners in a venture they both could see was much greater than themselves. This resolve has been a key success factor behind SHPs astounding growth.
Reflecting back on more than a decade of raising kids in SHP, balancing careers, family, community and faith, Jordan noted, “It has been an incredible, challenging and completely life changing journey that would not have been nearly as rewarding had it not included those closest to me. Specifically, my wife and co-chapter president/co-board member Heather, our four children, all of whom have not known what life was like before SHP, and so many incredible friends who, when I asked for help, so graciously dropped what they were doing and picked up a sander and drill to selflessly help build beds. Not one part of starting SHP from nothing has been easy. It has been a sacrifice on my time, on my career, on my family and on my friends. But that’s why it has also been such a special and rewarding experience.
Jordan began leading the board for leadership transition early this year.
“I knew it was time,” Allen said of his retirement, “the organization grows and the needs change, so we will always need new ideas and expertise to keep it thriving. I’ve felt for several years we needed to get our house in order…to get ready for bigger things…the moves we’ve made this year, including this healthy transition of Chairperson and Board leadership, is part of that. The growth of SHP has been tremendous, but the best is yet to come. And we’re ready for it.”
With absolute and heartfelt appreciation and deep respect, the Board and Executive Director join with so many others to express our gratitude for Jordan’s service, leadership, mentoring, patience and persistence.
Jordan, we’re excited for this next chapter in your life, and know beyond doubt, that like us, you will remain committed to see to it that ‘No kid sleeps on the floor in our town”.